Musa Kazım GÜLÇÜR
Redaction: Halit GÜLÇÜR
Sayyid al-Sharif al-Curcani (d. 816/1413) describes the knowledge as follows: Understanding the real aspect of something, definite belief, the shape of an object in the mind, opposite of the ignorance, to reach the meaning of something by human self, the disappearance of privacy in the object. (Curcanî, Tarifat, p. 161, Maktaba Lubnan, Beirut-1985).
Abu’l-Farac Ibnu’l-Cavzî (v. 597/1201) states that the word “knowledge” been used in the Qur’an under eleven meanings. These meanings may be enumerated as follows: knowing, seeing, reporting, book, Qur’an, the apostle, understanding, reasoning, discernment, separation and superiority. (Al-Cevzî, Nuzhetu’l-A’yun, p. 451-453, Muassasa al-Risala, Beirut-1984).
The word “knowledge” is included certitude adjectives which ascribed to God and most comprehensive of these adjectives. We can say that the adjective of knowledge holds a very important place in Qur’an knitting. In about 380 verses of the Holy Qur’an, the word of knowledge takes place in various forms such as names, verbs, and adjectives (ilim, alîm, allâm, alâm) ascribed to God.
The words derived from the root of “ilm” (knowledge) in the Qur’an (âlim, alîm, allâm, allâme, malum, malumat, muallem, irfan, marifet, etc.) take place approximately 750 different sentences. This number demonstrates that the Holy Qur’an gives so much importance to science and encourages to make scientific activities. For this reason, relevant verses deserve to be mentioned.
1. (وَعَلَّمَ اٰدَمَ الْاَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى الْمَلٰئِكَةِ فَقَالَ اَنْبِٶُنٖى بِاَسْمَاءِ هٰؤُلَاءِ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقٖينَ)
“And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform me of the names of these, if ye are truthful.” (Al-Baqarah [The Cow], 2/31)
Allah stated the virtue of Adam above the angels, because He taught Adam, rather than them, the names of everything. This occurred after they prostrated to him. This discussion precedes that event here, only to show the importance of his position and the absence of the angels’ knowledge about creating the Khalifah when they asked about it. So, Allah informed the angels that He knows what they do not know, and then He mentioned this to show them Adam’s superiority over them in knowledge.
Ibn Abbas commented on the ayah; (And He taught Adam all the names (of everything)) “Meaning, the names that people use, such as human, animal, sky, earth, land, sea, horse, donkey, and so forth, including the names of the other species.’’ Allah taught Adam the names of everything, their proper names, the names of their characteristics, and what they do.
And He taught Adam the names, all of them, that is, He granted to his heart the specific qualities of things, [the qualities] by which they, their benefits and their harmfulness, can be known. “Then He presented them”, that is, He presented those named things, to the angels, through their witnessing of the human structure and their accompaniment of Adam in the revelation. The meaning of His words: and He said, “Now tell Me the names of these if you speak truly”, [is] His will that they be revitalized by some of the objects of man’s knowledge, as required by the human composition and the conveying of the objects of his senses and his diverse knowledge, temporally originated in him through the specificity of [his] composition and his social condition, to their essences after not having been [there], since their knowledge ensues from his knowledge and that is the sense in which they are dumbfounded [by God] and the connection between that and His will is reflected in the command given to Adam to ‘tell’, since all of the human faculties and the angels that are in His presence are revitalized by what in a different locus they would not be revitalized; that is the meaning of Adam’s telling them [of the names].
The above discourse leads us to the belief that Adam was taught the names of the named ones in such a way that he clearly knew their reality and recognized their substantial existence; it was not merely knowing the semantic value of a noun. The named ones were substantial realities, the actual beings that were, at the same time, hidden behind the curtain of the unseen (secrets) of the heavens and the earth. This special knowledge could be learned only by an earthly human being but was quite incomprehensible by a heavenly angel. And this knowledge had an intrinsic bearing upon viceregency.
2. (قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ)
(Is one better who is dutiful during the night, prostrating and standing, fearing the Hereafter, and seeking the mercy of his Lord? Say: “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only those who possess intelligence will remember.) (Az-Zumar [The Troops] 39/9)
In this verse, there is a clear comparison. Accordingly, this is certainly that the persons who have knowledge are not equal to miscognizant people. It is an undeniable fact that knowledge is one of the most fundamental elements in today’s world.
3. (يَا اَيُّهَا الَّذٖينَ اٰمَنُوا اَطٖيعُوا اللّٰهَ وَاَطٖيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَاُولِى الْاَمْرِ مِنْكُم)
(O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.) (An-Nisa [The Women] 4/59)
According to the most authentic view, the aim from the phrase of “those charged with authority” is the scholars. In this respect, obedience to scholars because of their knowledge is obligatory. Allah Almighty mentions scholars in the Qur’an in two places which one immediately after the prophet and the other one is after the angels in second place.
First one is the verse which indicated above. The second one is as follows: Allah Himself bears witness that there is no God but He; and likewise do the angels and the men possessed of knowledge bear witness in truth and justice that there is no God but He, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (Ali ‘Imran [Family of Imran] 3/18)
Besides these two verses, Allah Almighty gives more credit to scholars who have a firm knowledge and mentions them immediately after Himself in two verses.
But none know it’s (similitude verses) interpretation except God, and those who are well founded in knowledge; they say: “We believe in it, all is from our Lord.” And none will remember except those who possess intelligence. (Ali ‘Imran [Family of Imran] 3/7)
Those who reject say, “You are not a messenger.” Say, “God is sufficient as a witness between me and you, and those who have the knowledge of the book”. (Ar-Ra’d [The Thunder] 13/43)
4. (يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ)
(God will raise those among you who acknowledge, and those who acquire knowledge to higher ranks. God is fully aware of everything you do). (Al-Mujadila [The Pleading Woman] 58/11)
In this verse, “raise” means that Allah (cc) gives the believers reward and the owners of knowledge degrees in terms of honor and superiority. Ibn Masud (ra) said that “Allah Almighty praises scholars in this verse. He declares that he will raise owners of knowledge in degrees over the believers who have not knowledge”.
5. (إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاء)
(Among the people, and the animals, and the livestock are various colors. As such, only the knowledgeable among God’s servants revere Him. God is Noble, Forgiving). (Fatir [Originator] 35/28)
The verse refers to a group that is the Paradise community. Because whoever is afraid of God will be at Heaven. So, the scholars are part of the Paradise community. In addition, the verse shows that scholars have fear of God. The following two verses explain that the community of having fear of God will be at the kingdom of Paradise.
Their reward with their Lord is the gardens of Eden with rivers flowing beneath them; they abide eternally therein. God is satisfied with them, and they are satisfied with Him. That is for whoever feared His Lord. (Al-Bayyinah [The Clear Proof] 98/8).
And for he who feared the majesty of his Lord, there will be two gardens. (Ar-Rahman [The Beneficent], 55/46).
A Hadith Qudsi confirms the verses indicated above. According to Abdallah Ibn-i Umar, the Prophet, may God give him blessings and peace, said: “Your Lord, ever mighty and majestic is He, says: “I shall not bring two fears together upon a servant, nor shall I bring together two securities upon him. If he fears Me in this world, he shall have no fear in the Other (resurrection day); and if he feels secure from Me in this world, then he shall have no security in the Other.”
However, knowing just the existence of Allah (c.c.) is not enough to fear him. A person needs to know three more things. 1- Knowing His power, 2- Knowing His knowledge, 3- Knowing His prevalence
A servant can only fear in a real manner if knows that He knows everything, He is omnipotent, and He will not settle for unpleasant and mundane acts.
6. (اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ)
(Read in the name of your Lord who has created. He created the human being from an embryo. Read, and your Lord is the Generous One. The One who taught by the pen. He taught the human being what he did not know). (Al-Alaq [The Clot] 96/1-5).
These verses were the first revelation to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Through that God ordered to read Prophet and all Muslims, and He encouraged them to write and to develop for becoming proficient in science. The fact that the order of “read” takes place at the beginning of the first verse of the first revelation and reiterating this order twice illustrates that knowledge and science how significant for religion and human life. It is very meaningful that the Qur’an identifies human being different and superior place comparing to other creatures in terms of learning ability.
Consequently, it is desired that examining and reading the revelations and cosmic universe evidence, and through that getting information and pursuing the truth for better understanding the God, human being and all universe. There is no doubt that knowing the Creator is fundamental both for science and religion. Therefore, in the first verse, God says that “Read in the name of your Lord who has created.”
7. (شَهِدَ اللّٰهُ اَنَّهُ لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ وَالْمَلٰئِكَةُ وَاُولُوا الْعِلْمِ قَائِمًا بِالْقِسْطِ لَا اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الْعَزٖيزُ الْحَكٖيمُ)
(God bears witness that there is no god except He, and so do the angels and those who possess the knowledge, He is standing with justice. There is no god except He, the Noble, the Wise). (Ali ‘Imran [Family of Imran] 3/18)
In this verse, what is the meaning of bearing witness by who possess knowledge besides God and angels? It may be interpreted that recognizing God consciously and willingly means bearing witness of the oneness of God. Such a belief is only available for the possessor of deep knowledge (scholars). Because of their belief in Allah Almighty through seeing, reading and knowing him in the universe, scholars are mentioned in this verse.
As knowledgeable people share the same action as God and angels, it is clear that they are how much praised. With their deep knowledge scholars reflect the act of witnessing of God on earth. Only the evidence-based knowledge can be precise and accurate. Almighty Allah describes scholars as those who gave the right of Him. A person who does not give the right of God and not establishes the justice cannot be identified as a scholar or knowledgeable person. Therefore, the features of scholars include being righteous and equitable.
“Say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” (Tâhâ [Ta-Ha], 20/114)
(Then exalted be Allah, the True King) He exonerated Himself from having children or partners! (And hasten not with the Qur’an) do not hasten, O Muhammad, to recite the Qur’an (ere its revelation hath been perfected unto thee) before Gabriel finishes reading the Qur’an to you. This is because when Gabriel used to bring new revelations, the Prophet (PBUH) would start to repeat them after Gabriel even before the latter finished his reading, for fear of forgetting what was recited to him. Allah, therefore, told him to stop doing this, saying: (and say) O Muhammad: (My Lord! Increase me in knowledge) and memorization and understanding of the Qur’an as well as in judging by the Qur’an.
8. (فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ)
“Know, therefore, that there is no god but Allah” (Muhammad, 47/19)
(So know) O Muhammad (that there is no God save Allah) there is none that harms or benefits, gives or withholds, raises or abases except Allah; and it is also said that this means: and know there is nothing that has the merit of “there is no deity save Allah”
9. (وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَا إِلاَّ الْعَالِمُونَ)
“only those understand them who have knowledge.” (Al- ‘Ankabut [The Spider], 29/43)
It is only His elect (khāṣṣa) who fully understand them. Thus, knowledge is rare and understanding granted by God even rarer. Whoever becomes acquainted with the knowledge of Him through the knowledge [acquired by] his natural self, will experience Him in a delusory manner. But regarding the one who becomes acquainted with [God] through the knowledge of God, God knows what He willed from him for Himself. The creature has no knowledge of God beyond that. This allusion [to similitudes in the verse] was made since their hearts are truly far away from knowledge [of God]. Take note of his words, ‘If you knew God with a true knowledge of Him then the mountain would cease to exist by [the power of] your supplication’.
عَنْ مُعاوِيةَ رضي اللَّه عنْهُ، قال: قَال رسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وسَلَّم: مَنْ يُرِد اللَّه بِهِ خيْراً يُفَقِّهْهُ في الدِّينِ
Narrated Muawiya: I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “If Allah wants to do good to a person, He makes him comprehend the religion. I am just a distributor, but the grant is from Allah. (And remember) that this nation (true Muslims) will keep on following Allah’s teachings strictly and they will not be harmed by anyone going on a different path till Allah’s order (Day of Judgment) is established.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari 71).
عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ مَثَلُ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللَّهُ بِهِ مِنَ الْهُدَى وَالْعِلْمِ كَمَثَلِ الْغَيْثِ الْكَثِيرِ أَصَابَ أَرْضًا، فَكَانَ مِنْهَا نَقِيَّةٌ قَبِلَتِ الْمَاءَ، فَأَنْبَتَتِ الْكَلأَ وَالْعُشْبَ الْكَثِيرَ، وَكَانَتْ مِنْهَا أَجَادِبُ أَمْسَكَتِ الْمَاءَ، فَنَفَعَ اللَّهُ بِهَا النَّاسَ، فَشَرِبُوا وَسَقَوْا وَزَرَعُوا، وَأَصَابَتْ مِنْهَا طَائِفَةً أُخْرَى، إِنَّمَا هِيَ قِيعَانٌ لاَ تُمْسِكُ مَاءً، وَلاَ تُنْبِتُ كَلأً، فَذَلِكَ مَثَلُ مَنْ فَقِهَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ وَنَفَعَهُ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللَّهُ بِهِ، فَعَلِمَ وَعَلَّمَ، وَمَثَلُ مَنْ لَمْ يَرْفَعْ بِذَلِكَ رَأْسًا، وَلَمْ يَقْبَلْ هُدَى اللَّهِ الَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ
Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “The example of guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is like abundant rain falling on the earth, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. (And) another portion of it was hard and held the rainwater and Allah benefited the people with it and they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. (And) a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation (then that land gave no benefits). The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah’s religion and gets a benefit (from the knowledge) which Allah has revealed through me (the Prophets and learns and then teaches others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not take Allah’s guidance revealed through me (He is like that barren land.)”
(Sahih al-Bukhari 79)
عَنْ كَثِيرِ بْنِ قَيْسٍ، قَالَ كُنْتُ جَالِسًا مَعَ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ فِي مَسْجِدِ دِمَشْقَ فَجَاءَهُ رَجُلٌ فَقَالَ يَا أَبَا الدَّرْدَاءِ إِنِّي جِئْتُكَ مِنْ مَدِينَةِ الرَّسُولِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لِحَدِيثٍ بَلَغَنِي أَنَّكَ تُحَدِّثُهُ عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا جِئْتُ لِحَاجَةٍ . قَالَ فَإِنِّي سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ “ مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَطْلُبُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَلَكَ اللَّهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا مِنْ طُرُقِ الْجَنَّةِ وَإِنَّ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ لَتَضَعُ أَجْنِحَتَهَا رِضًا لِطَالِبِ الْعِلْمِ وَإِنَّ الْعَالِمَ لَيَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُ مَنْ فِي السَّمَوَاتِ وَمَنْ فِي الأَرْضِ وَالْحِيتَانُ فِي جَوْفِ الْمَاءِ وَإِنَّ فَضْلَ الْعَالِمِ عَلَى الْعَابِدِ كَفَضْلِ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ عَلَى سَائِرِ الْكَوَاكِبِ وَإِنَّ الْعُلَمَاءَ وَرَثَةُ الأَنْبِيَاءِ وَإِنَّ الأَنْبِيَاءَ لَمْ يُوَرِّثُوا دِينَارًا وَلاَ دِرْهَمًا وَرَّثُوا الْعِلْمَ فَمَنْ أَخَذَهُ أَخَذَ بِحَظٍّ وَافِرٍ
Kathir ibn Qays said I was sitting with AbudDarda’ in the mosque of Damascus. A man came to him and said: AbudDarda, I have come to you from the town of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) for a tradition that I have heard you relate from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). I have come for no other purpose.
He said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dinar nor dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion.
(Sunan Abi Dawud 3641).
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ مَنْ نَفَّسَ عَنْ مُؤْمِنٍ كُرْبَةً مِنْ كُرَبِ الدُّنْيَا نَفَّسَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ كُرْبَةً مِنْ كُرَبِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَمَنْ يَسَّرَ عَلَى مُعْسِرٍ يَسَّرَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَمَنْ سَتَرَ مُسْلِمًا سَتَرَهُ اللَّهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ وَاللَّهُ فِي عَوْنِ الْعَبْدِ مَا كَانَ الْعَبْدُ فِي عَوْنِ أَخِيهِ وَمَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَلْتَمِسُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهَّلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَمَا اجْتَمَعَ قَوْمٌ فِي بَيْتٍ مِنْ بُيُوتِ اللَّهِ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَيَتَدَارَسُونَهُ بَيْنَهُمْ إِلاَّ نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّكِينَةُ وَغَشِيَتْهُمُ الرَّحْمَةُ وَحَفَّتْهُمُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَذَكَرَهُمُ اللَّهُ فِيمَنْ عِنْدَهُ وَمَنْ بَطَّأَ بِهِ عَمَلُهُ لَمْ يُسْرِعْ بِهِ نَسَبُهُ ”
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: He who alleviates the suffering of a brother out of the sufferings of the world, Allah would alleviate his suffering from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection, and he who finds relief for one who is hard-pressed, Allah would make things easy for him in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother, and he who treads the path in search of knowledge, Allah would make that path easy, leading to Paradise for him and those persons who assemble in the house among the houses of Allah (mosques) and recite the Book of Allah and they learn and teach the Qur’an (among themselves) there would descend upon them tranquility and mercy would cover them and the angels would surround them and Allah mentions them in the presence of those near Him, and he who is slow-paced in doing good deeds, his (high) lineage does not make him go ahead.
(Sahih Muslim 2699)
عَنْ سَخْبَرَةَ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ مَنْ طَلَبَ الْعِلْمَ كَانَ كَفَّارَةً لِمَا مَضَى ”
Abdullah bin Sakhbarah narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever seeks knowledge, he is atoning for what has passed (of sins while doing so).”
(Jami at-Tirmidhi 2648)
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ الْكَلِمَةُ الْحِكْمَةُ ضَالَّةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ فَحَيْثُ وَجَدَهَا فَهُوَ أَحَقُّ بِهَا
Narrated Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The wise statement is the lost property of the believer, so wherever he finds it, then he is more worthy of it.”
(Jami at-Tirmidhi 2687)
قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ لاَ حَسَدَ إِلاَّ فِي اثْنَتَيْنِ رَجُلٌ آتَاهُ اللَّهُ مَالاً فَسُلِّطَ عَلَى هَلَكَتِهِ فِي الْحَقِّ، وَرَجُلٌ آتَاهُ اللَّهُ الْحِكْمَةَ، فَهْوَ يَقْضِي بِهَا وَيُعَلِّمُهَا ”.
Narrated Abdullah bin Mas`ud, The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Do not wish to be like anyone except in two cases. (The first is) A person, whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it righteously; (the second is) the one whom Allah has given wisdom (the Holy Qur’an) and he acts according to it and teaches it to others.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari 73)
عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَنْ خَرَجَ فِي طَلَبِ الْعِلْمِ فَهُوَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ
Narrated Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever goes out seeking knowledge, then he is in Allah’s cause until he returns.”
(At-Tirmidhi, Book 13, Hadith 1385)
عَنْ أَبِي أُمَامَةَ الْبَاهِلِيِّ، قَالَ ذُكِرَ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَجُلاَنِ أَحَدُهُمَا عَابِدٌ وَالآخَرُ عَالِمٌ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” فَضْلُ الْعَالِمِ عَلَى الْعَابِدِ كَفَضْلِي عَلَى أَدْنَاكُمْ ” . ثُمَّ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلاَئِكَتَهُ وَأَهْلَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ حَتَّى النَّمْلَةَ فِي جُحْرِهَا وَحَتَّى الْحُوتَ لَيُصَلُّونَ عَلَى مُعَلِّمِ النَّاسِ الْخَيْرَ
Narrated Abu Umamah Al-Bahili: “Two men were mentioned before the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). One of them a worshiper, and the other a scholar. So, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘The superiority of the scholar over the worshiper is like my superiority over the least of you.’ Then the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘Indeed Allah, His Angels, the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth – even the ant in his hole, even the fish – say Salat upon the one who teaches the people to do good.’“
(At-Tirmidhi, Book 13, Hadith 1387)
Some scholars argued that the words; water, rain and flow in the 17th verse of the Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder) Surah, represents knowledge and Allah likens the knowledge to “water” because of these five features:
1) As the rain came down from the sky, science fell from the sky.
2) As the breeding of the earth is with the rain, the healing of the creature is with science.
3) The crops and plants do not grow without rain, and the verbs do not occur.
4) As the rain comes from behind thunder and lightning, after understanding the gospels and warnings, knowledge comes.
5) Rain is beneficial or harmful, as is science. Science, useful for someone who acts with him, for non-functioning, is harmful.
Science is superior to goods for the following seven reasons:
1) Science, the legacy of the prophets, goods is the legacy of the pharaohs.
2) Science is not reduced by spending, but goods are lost.
3) The commodity needs a guard, and knowledge protects its owner.
4) When a person dies, he can’t take his goods with his knowledge of the owner is not separated from him when he died.
5) The goods are acquired by the believer and the infidels. Science is only for the believer.
6) All people need knowledge of religious problems whereas they are not in need of the owner.
7) Science strengthens the person to get through the turret, while the goods will hamper him.
According to Qur’an, Allah taught seven different persons in several manners.
1) He taught all names to Adam.
2) He taught the foresight to Khidr.
3) He taught the interpretation of dreams to Joseph.
4) He taught the art of making armor to David.
5) He taught speaking with birds to Solomon.
6) He taught the knowledge of the Torah and the Bible to Jesus.
7) He taught the Book (seriah) and the oneness of God to Mohammed.
The consequences of giving knowledge by God to these prophets and Khidr inter alia might be indicated as follows:
Adams’s knowledge provided making prostration and greetings by angels to him.
Khidr’s knowledge made that he had precious students such as Moses and Joshua.
Joseph’s knowledge helped him to find his family and home country.
David’s knowledge made him get chief status and obtaining a superior degree.
Solomons’ knowledge provided to found Belkis and won her.
Jesus’ knowledge ensured to save his mother against accusations.
Mohammed’s knowledge cause to the intercession of believers by him.
There is no doubt that the human being is more virtuous than other living things. This virtue and superiority are not due to human’s power and strength. Because most animals are superior or at least equal to humans in terms of strength. Therefore, the superiority of humankind is due to the fact that they have a luminous characteristic that is given by God, ability to learn and gain experience and lastly being conscious about the existence of both themselves, other creatures and the Creator. Human’s constant effort to seek the truth and pursuing real knowledge separates them from other creatures.
(سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا اِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْعَلٖيمُ الْحَكٖيمُ)
“Glory be to You; we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise”
(Bakara [The Cow] 2/32)